Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

> Back to 60second Recap® Study Guide Library > The Awakening

1. Introduction: The Awakening

The Awakening

Kate Chopin, 1899
Famous for: A free-thinking leading lady who refused to be caged by society's expectations. A beginning and an ending at the ocean.

Make you own videos about The Awakening 60second Recap®When Kate Chopin finished writing The Awakening, her name was known to readers across America. She’d sold essays to prestigious magazines, like The Atlantic Monthly and Vogue. She’d syndicated stories to newspapers coast-to-coast.

Yes, Kate Chopin was on a roll…until she published The Awakening. The reaction was tremendous, almost all of it negative. Critics called her novel vulgar and worse. Publication of a new collection of her short stories was suddenly cancelled. Her career never recovered.

Just what was all the fuss about?
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The Awakening by Kate Chopin | Original edition cover. 60second Recao

More than a century after its disastrous debut, you can buy
The Awakening by Kate Chopin here from Amazon.

Jenny 1: You’re asking me what I thought of The Awakening? Contemptible—that’s what I thought. An abomination, chock full of immorality, and a threat to civilized society. Reveling in a woman’s sexual promiscuity! I mean really.

Jenny 2 : That’s called metaphor.

Jenny 1: Beware, I say to you! Beware! The Awakening is nothing more than a piece of filth masquerading as literature.

J2: Filth?

Jenny 1: Absolutely disgusting.

Jenny 2: It’s a story. Meaning you’re not supposed to take it literally.

Jenny 1: The main character is a married woman and she has sex with a man other than her husband!

Jenny 2: It wasn’t about the sex. It was about her not being anyone’s possession. It was about her finding some form of self-expression.

Jenny 1: It was still SEX!

Jenny 2: But you’re missing the whole point. I don’t think Kate Chopin was advocating for women to go out and have affairs.

Jenny 1: She CELEBRATES Edna’s affair!

Jenny 2: She celebrates what it represents. In that time, women were limited in every direction—financially, professionally, even in terms of the control they could exercise over their own bodies.

Jenny 1: But—

Jenny 2: By the way, did you know that your ability to share your opinion with the world is because of writers like Chopin who believed that women actually deserved a voice?

Jenny 1: Oh.

 
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